Lapid accuses BBC, British media of bias in terror attacks reporting

Yesh Atid leader says what he saw in the British media could not just be "sloppy," because mistakes were constantly being made that make Israel look bad.

October 21, 2015 20:19
2 minute read.
A satellite transmission dish is seen near BBC Television Center at White City in London

A satellite transmission dish is seen near BBC Television Center at White City in London. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The media in the United Kingdom have been biased against Israel in its coverage of the current Palestinian violence, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said in London on Wednesday.

Lapid complained about the BBC’s coverage of the conflict on the network’s flagship program, Hard Talk.

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“There is intense anger in Israel at the British media,” Lapid told reporters at a briefing in London. “You are covering the terrorist attacks in a twisted way. In Israel, innocent people are getting killed just because they are Jewish.”

Lapid said that what he saw in the British media could not just be “sloppy,” because mistakes were constantly being made that make Israel look bad.

“The Jewish state is the only state getting this kind of coverage,” Lapid said at the briefing.

In an opinion piece Lapid penned in Britain’s Jewish News newspaper, he said “persecution” of Israel takes two distinct forms.

“In the past two weeks terrorists are chasing Israeli civilians across the country armed with knives, axes and guns,” he wrote. “Jihadists are murdering and maiming, stabbing and burning. They no longer pretend this is about foreign policy, or even about settlements. It is religious fanaticism which knows no limits. In their own words – and I see no reason not to believe them – they want to murder Jews because they are Jews.”

He said the second category of persecutors were those in the media covering the wave of violence.
The Battle Behind the Headlines: Media bias against Israel?

“In a long series of false reports and distortions of the truth they create the impression that the victim is the aggressor, that the ones protecting themselves are the murderers, that Israel has no right to defend itself,” he wrote.

Lapid pointed out several headlines in British media that wrongly painted Israel as the aggressor in the conflict.

For instance, the BBC had a headline “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two” after a terrorist stabbed two Jews.

“Before I was a politician I worked in the media for 31 years,” Lapid wrote. “I covered wars, international conflicts, and countless clashes.

As someone who has been on both sides of the media I can say, with total responsibility, that this is an incomprehensible number of incorrect reports, misleading headlines, distortions of fact and total falsifications of the truth.

“The most suspicious and angering thing is that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world where democratic countries fight Islamist fundamentalism. It could be explained by a lack of professionalism or maybe laziness, but when it always seems to fall on the same side, something is clearly wrong.”

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